POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Concerns continue over the renovations at the Poland branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.
In September, some were upset about the decision to remove art and statue busts. Now, a discussion was held over the patio area.
In a meeting with Poland’s Architecture Review Board Monday evening, a proposal was laid out for the patio area of the Poland Library.
Aimee Fifarek, director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, shared that they would like to stain the concrete, which was put in last year. It would look similar to the brick layout that was previously there.
“The concrete is harmonious with the bricks that still exist in the exterior,” Fifarek said.
Some argued though that the bricks should have stayed.
“When I see the maintenance that is beginning now, we’re taking it from a Cadillac and moving it down to a Chevrolet,” said Poland resident Debbie Taylor.
Dave Foster is the head of maintenance at the library. He says they tried to keep the bricks.
“You go through one winter and you’re back to square one with heaved, pocketing water and becoming unsafe,” Foster said.
“The easiest way to fix anything is [to] remove the bricks, regrade the gravel underneath and reset the bricks,” said architect and Poland resident Bob Mastriana.
Fifarek says one reason the bricks were taken out was due to a fire hazard from the fire department in 2019. Damage from the brick caused the meeting room doors to stick.
“Those doors are emergency egress for the building,” Fifarek said.
“If the fire department says you’ve got a building violation, you’ve got a fire hazard, you don’t wait four years — you change it,” said Poland resident Martin Desmond.
Others in the meeting took issue with the lack of community input.
“If there would have been more collaboration on the front end and everyone would have come together and said, ‘Yeah, we want to do this,’ that would be one thing, but that didn’t happen here,” said Poland resident Jon Sarraino.
The board will review the patio proposal before deciding.